The 76ers, having gone outside the organization early on in their search for a general manager to eventually replace Rod Thorn, are now looking inward - this time at senior vice president of basketball operations Tony DiLeo.
According to a team source, the Sixers, who have interviewed four others from outside the organization for Thorn's position, were impressed with the role DiLeo played this summer alongside Thorn as the team rebuilt the team around center Andrew Bynum.
Attempts to reach DiLeo via phone were unsuccessful. He did not return a message left on his voice mail.
The Sixers have set no timeline in which to name a general manager. Thorn has a little less than one year remaining on his contract. Upon its completion, Thorn will move to an advisory position with the Sixers.
Meanwhile, according to a league source with knowledge of the situation, one of the three candidates mentioned for the job - Boston assistant general manager Mike Zarren - has withdrawn his candidacy. The Sixers have also interviewed ESPN analyst and ex-Portland Trail Blazers assistant general manager Tom Penn, whom they have cooled on, according to a source, and former New Orleans general manager Jeff Bower.
DiLeo was a finalist earlier this summer for the Portland general manager's job, which went to former Los Angeles Clippers general manager Neil Olshey.
DiLeo has been a part of the Sixers basketball operations department since the 1990-91 season. Most recently, before assuming his current position with the club, DiLeo took over for fired coach Maurice Cheeks after the Sixers began the 2008-09 season 9-14.
The Sixers went 32-27 the rest of the way and reached the playoffs as the sixth seed. DiLeo returned to the front office before the start of the 2009-10 season.
The Sixers begin training camp Oct. 2 at St. Joseph's University. They open their preseason schedule Oct. 11 in Orlando, and they open the regular season against Denver at the Wells Fargo Center on Oct. 31.